Since its first episode, “Constellation” on Apple TV+ has consistently maintained an air of mystery about its characters. Jo and Henry both had experiences that seemed like hallucinations. But their strong belief in what they saw and heard turned “Constellation” into a confounding conspiracy thriller. In the previous episode, we saw Jo discover that she received antipsychotic pills, unlike other astronauts who received vitamin A pills. In her personal life, she kept having trouble connecting with Magnus and Alice. Besides, she could not recall ever being in a relationship with Frederic. Now, “Constellation” episode 5 follows Jo as she goes to meet the person who sent her tapes of old recordings. It leads her to a shocking discovery about Alice’s past. Henry has his own share of struggles with Bud.

Spoilers Ahead

Constellation Episode 5 “Five Miles Out, the Sound Is Clearest” Recap:

Previously, we saw Alice (Rosie/Davina Coleman) imagining a funeral at their house for Jo (Noomi Rapace). Magnus (James D’Arcy) blamed Jo for Alice’s troubles. He decided to call Frederic (Julian Looman) to seek help for Jo’s mental health issues. Jo got upset by this and tried to stop Magnus from speaking. It resulted in a fight where Magnus accidentally got hit on his head. She realizes that he is unconscious. At that moment, Jo decided to gather the tapes from the Marine Observatory in Denmark – and to meet their source.

Jo takes Alice with her on this journey. Soon after, she enters her office to listen to the recording tapes. She hears conversations between her and Alice besides the ones with Paul (William Catlett) and Henry (Jonathan Banks). In a recording, she tells Alice that that ‘it’ is looking for a new state of matter. Jo also admits that she will return in 84 days and some mischievous activities related to CAL. Upon hearing that, Jo steals the CAL machine and returns to her car. We soon understand why she decides to take this reckless step.

What does Jo learn about Bang Siblings?

From Germany, Jo attempts to cross the boundaries through a ferry terminal. She calls Ilya (Henry David) and asks what kind of vitamins he received. He checks on his prescription and admits that they are vitamin A pills. Jo tells him that, unlike him and other astronauts, she received antipsychotics. She suspects astronauts are getting lithium pills and requests him to check his pills and analyze them. Later, while having lunch, she asks Alice why she hides in cupboards when she gets scared. Jo also asks Alice whether she really saw Paul and others attend her funeral. Alice confirms.

Alice says what scares her is ‘The Valya’ – a female character who tricks her into hiding. While she sketches how The Valya looks, Jo calls Laurentz Bang (Kurt Dreyer) to inform him that she is coming to meet him. He tries to stop her and says that his sister, Walborg (Birthe Neumann), might have sent the tapes. After he abruptly cuts the call, she checks their details online. Turns out, they were also called liars, conspiracy theorists, and criminals for sharing their experiences, similar to hers. By then, Alice had finished her drawing. Jo sees it and realizes it looks exactly like the dead astronaut she saw in space.

What does Jo learn about her hallucinations?

Jo calls Magnus and tells him where she and Alice are. Frederic, who happens to be with Magnus, demands Jo to return home. Jo questions him about his behavior toward her after her return from space when he kept checking if she was taking her pills. Frederic does not share the reason. Jo cuts the call and heads to meet the Bang siblings. Meanwhile, Ilya goes through the Roscosmos research archives to check old medical records. Irene realizes this and reaches there. She asks him whether Jo made him do it. He does not accept that he has been in touch with her.

What does Jo learn from the Bang siblings?

Back in Denmark, Jo and Alice reach the Bang siblings’ residence. Laurentz tries to make her go back. But Walborg decides to let them in. Laurentz worries that the visitor isn’t actually Jo and is a ‘crisis actor’ who has come to arrest them. Jo asks Walborg about the tape she sent her, where they can hear what Jo said when she was alone in space. Walborg says Laurentz heard Jo talk about the dead body she saw, and it was a part of the ‘ghost tapes.’ Laurentz stops them from speaking about these tapes. Still, Walborg explains further.

Walborg talks about listening consoles and recorders they used for years to check what was happening in space. Besides Bang siblings, people from across the world were doing the same research. Henry Caldera was one of these people. Laurentz reveals that Henry came to them in 1982, looking for tapes after he became the lone survivor of the Apollo 18 accident. Before sharing any more information, Walborg decides to take them outside to her boat. They discuss how multiple astronauts returned with similar stories. Eventually, they reach a liminal space where they can clearly hear the tapes.

What happens between Henry and Bud?

Constellation Episode 5
Rosie/Davina Coleman and Noomi Rapace in “Constellation,” now streaming on Apple TV+.

Henry continues imagining things and feels like someone’s knocking at his hotel door. He senses the presence of Bud, his variant from an alternate universe where the Apollo 18 space mission was successful. Later, Irene (Barbara Sukowa) calls Henry out of concern for his well-being. She hopes to send his name to be considered for the upcoming Nobel Prize for his research in quantum mechanics. As per his study of the ‘entangled state,’ what happens to one of the particles in a pair determines what happens to the other when they are apart. Henry does not say much to her. Later on, in the office, he realizes that the CAL machine is stolen and alerts Irene about it.

Constellation Episode 5 “Five Miles Out, the Sound Is Clearest” Ending Explained:

What happens between Henry and Bud?

Frederic tries to convince Magnus that Jo is mentally unstable and shouldn’t be trusted with Alice. Meanwhile, at Bud’s LA apartment, he speaks with his daughter over the phone. In Henry’s universe, he gets tired of Bud’s interference and tells him to leave him alone. Henry asks Frederic’s permission to join while they retrieve CAL. Frederic denies it. Within moments, Frederic notices a strange change in Henry’s behaviour, who suddenly soils his pants and simultaneously, becomes self-assured. This time, Henry states he will be coming with Frederic and others.

Soon after, through the washroom mirror, Henry has a word with Bud. He confronts Bud for not taking his pills. Henry feels the CAL (Cold Atomic Lab) machine has made everything worse. He blames himself for it. Then, he asks Bud whether he knows Johanna (Jo) Erickson. Bud doesn’t answer. He only says that he is coming to Henry to mess up things further. Earlier, Bud showed his presence by making Henry behave abruptly and strangely in front of Henry. So, it looks like things will get heated even further between these two.

Who is ‘the Valya’?

In Denmark, Jo and Alice try to listen to and decode the tapes from Bang’s siblings. Walborg talks about a recording of Paul’s speech. Since Jo saw him die, she and Alice cannot believe that Paul is alive. Walborg still firmly believes that there is more to the story than what catches the eye. Alice gets worried about Jo’s mental state. So, she secretly calls Magnus and tells him where they are. Before Jo leaves with Alice, Walborg hands over their tapes. During the drive, Jo answers Alice’s queries about the things she hasn’t shared with them.

On her way back from Denmark, Jo speaks about her pain and regrets about her space mission. She mentions that, in space, she did not see a garbage bag with a smiley face on it, as some reports claimed. However, she doesn’t say anything about the dead body she saw. Moments later, Alice reveals the identity of the Valya – she is a dead cosmonaut floating around Earth. ‘She’s a bit alive and a bit dead,’ claims Alice. She also notes that Valya’s speech, in her dreams/visions, was indiscernible. Jo tells her about an old tape from 1967. Alice takes it out and plays it. But they can only hear weird noises.

What does Jo learn about Alice’s past?

While listening to a tape from 1967, Alice claims that the person speaking on it is the Valya. So, Jo stops the car, takes the cassette player, and holds it over the CAL. That’s when Valya’s voice becomes clear and discernible. So, Jo keeps it there. They hear the Valya speak about feeling hot due to some flames. While counting down, she says that the world is the wrong way around. Jo stops somewhere in the middle and gets confused, seeing two roads. Unlike her, Alice recalls two roads being there.

Through a thick layer of snow, Jo drives her car and reaches a cottage. Once inside, Jo starts listening to one of the tapes, where she is speaking with Alice in Swedish. Towards the end, she hears Paul’s scream, calling out her name. Alice hears it too and finds it surprising. Then, she reveals something peculiar about her past – Alice on tape is not her. She can’t/doesn’t speak Swedish. But Jo remembers it not being the case. At the end of the episode, we see another Alice calling out her ‘Mama,’ like the tape recordings. It is one of the first times where the series directs us to the certainty of alternate universes, where alternate versions of them exist.

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Constellation Episode 5 Links: IMDb, Wikipedia, Rotten Tomatoes
The Cast of Constellation Episode 5: Noomi Rapace, Jonathan Banks, James D’Arcy, Barbara Sukova, Chipo Chung, William Catlett, Julian Looman, Lenn Kudrjawizki, Rosie Colman, Davina Colman
Constellation Genre: Sci-fi, Drama, Thriller
Where to watch Constellation

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